By James Sowole
The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has raised the alarm that owners of palm oil plantation would soon be sent out of business unless the federal government stops unrestricted legal and illegal entry of cheap crude palm oil into the country.
The NPPAN raised the alarm at a news conference addressed by the Ondo State branch of the association, stating that the federal government policy to develop the nation’s palm oil industry was being sabotaged through nefarious activities of some people and companies.
The NPPAN Chairman in Ondo State, Mr. Baderinwa Adetula, said that the price of crude palm oil has been witnessing downward trend since August 2017.
He said it was unusual for price of palm oil to go down during this period because it is off season when price is expected to be stable or going up because of high demand and low production at this time.
Adetula said they had no doubt that the product was being smuggled into the country through the West Coast of Africa because palm oil producing countries in the region have the same climatic condition with Nigeria.
He said it was clear that the palm that were labelled from these West African countries were not actually from there but brought in from other countries outside West Africa, insisting there was no way any of those countries could have surpassed Nigeria in production during off season.
“This new trend of allowing cheap palm oil into the country will definitely send all palm plantation owners out of the field again and that will increase nonperforming loans in the financial sector.
“The ripple effect on employment is left for every one imagination, both in the agriculture and financial sectors of the economy.